Flexibility and Agility. Something I used to have and took for granted. Diabetes has affected both.

I have had Type 1 for 50 years. I always did everything I could physically partly because I was brought up that way and partly because I knew it was good for my disease. I was always taught that the key to diabetes was the triangle of food, insulin, and exercise. When my flexibility and agility changed at first I did not connect that it had anything to do with diabetes, but now it seems to be true. Any thoughts would be appreciated as to what people do to counteract the symptoms.

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Comment by Brian (bsc) on December 7, 2010 at 5:13am
I've read that diabetes can cause a thickening of the tendons and that can put a serious cramp on flexibility. I've got wrist and shoulder problems. I could never do a split, but being able to touch my toes is becoming difficult. While some of it is aging, I think a fair bit is due my diabetes. I work on stretches to maintain flexibility, but my range of motion is limited. I do believe that if you don't use it, you lose it, so I keep up the exercises in the hopes that I can minimize the impact. ..
Comment by Jackie Warren Demijohn on December 12, 2010 at 9:54am

I have never thought much about the diabetic/flexibility connection.  I have broken 19 bones to date and have pins and staples holding my right shoulder together.  None of that has helped my flexibility.  However, I try to do an ancient Chinese healing art & meditation called Chi Gong (English spelling).  It has helped my flexibility and pain tremendously.  Check it out if you have the time.  Lots of stuff on the net and urban areas often offer classes.  Good luck and thanks for something else to consider.  Riding to Live, Jax

Comment by acidrock23 on December 14, 2010 at 11:02am

I studied Tae Kwon Do for about 5 years and then,unfortunately, had to move for work so stopped that.  I'm also not getting any younger but still do the stretching routine a few times a week and I usually feel a lot better, not just physically but mentally, after I stretch out all the way. 

I had started lifting towards the end of my TKD "career" and googled 'weightlifting stretches' and found pretty much the same routine we'd done at the dojang so I figured that the goal of hitting all of the major muscle groups was the same?  This will take about 15-20 minutes and I think that it does a good job stretching you out.  I would add BE CAREFUL and don't over exert yourself if you try it, the idea of using a rope or towel on the hamstring stretches is very good too.  http://www.timinvermont.com/fitness/stretch.htm

A good exercise to add is 'ankle rotations' where you sit, hold your toes rotate your foot in both directions 10x or so.  I had a lot of problems w/ my ankles, dating back to a mid-1980s soccer injury that seem to have gone away since I started doing those.  They also seem to help prevent shin splints for me, if I remember to do them before I run?

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